Hi From Norway!
It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, but here I am again, saying hello from beautiful Oslo, Norway, where the temperatures hit the mid seventies today (!). I’m just finishing up the loveliest trip here to promote the Norwegian edition of my new novel, and I’m so grateful for the enthusiasm and warmth from my readers and publishing team in this awesome country.
This is my third trip to Norway for book events, and with each visit, I fall in love with this special country all the more. While jet lag has been hard on this trip, it’s been my favorite Norwegian experience to date.
These past few days have been filled with amazing memories: sold-out reader events, spending time with author colleagues from around the globe (hello, Alyson Richman, Jan-Phillip Sendker, Lucy Dillon and others!), inspiring visits to the Munch Museum and the lookout point over Oslo where Edvard Munch set his iconic painting “The Scream.”
And, oh! Oh!! For all of my coffee-loving traveling friends, I have a little tidbit for you. Let me preface this by saying… I’m kind of nuts about cream in my coffee (er, half-and-half). But when you order a coffee or espresso in Norway, they don’t typically have a bar station with half-and-half to pour in like they do in the US. In fact, this is pretty true of France, England, and Italy. Coffee, no cream. But, but! There’s a secret, and simple, solution in Norway: Just use the magic word!
Wait, it’s not what you think! If you ask for “half-and-half” or “cream,” most cafe staffers will literally give you a blank stare. But here’s the thing: half-and-half is virtually nonexistent in Europe, especially Scandinavia, and when you ask for cream, most think you’re asking for whipped cream, and they’ll tell you they don’t have it. So, it took three years, and lots of plain black coffee before Brandon and I finally realized that there is a magic word to take your coffee from black to amazing (in Norway, at least). You just have to ask for (and I can’t spell it, so just trust me and pronounce it this way): “FLEUR-TA.” Go ahead, just say it! Every waiter, waitress and barista will understand immediately that you simply want a little straight-up cream in your coffee. They have it back there in the fridge and they are happy to pour you a little carafe of it. God bless FLEUR-TA. (And thank you Pip and Knute for the life-changing tip!)
Seattle, tomorrow. Until next time, Norway!